Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Village in NYC, 5th Avenue

Another great way to know what's going on in the city is signing up for "deal" sites that offer discounts to restaurants, events and more. Sometimes I think I subscribe to too many, but with so much going on in New York City, it's nice to know my options. Travelzoo had discounted tickets available to the Christmas Village exhibits, one of which was just around the corner from my job in midtown, so I figure, why not? The exhibit includes 21 winter/Christmas scenes that include music, animatronics, and lots of (faux) snow. They have a second location in Little Italy that I plan to visit next year as the scenes are different. Here is a description from their site:

The Mayor of Mouseville wanted to bring his family to New York City during the holiday season, so they could see how festively we celebrate Christmas here. He wrote to the Mayor of New York, who asked Santa himself to be Honorary Mayor and show the Mouse Family through The City, as Santa knows and loves it well. Santa meets the family at Grand Santa Station (NY renamed the train terminal for the occasion), and he is dressed in his red business suit and tie, without his cap.

From there, he will show them the sights of NY, including Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, Bryant Park, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Freedom Towers, and the Statue of Liberty. 

It's almost sickening how cute that sounds.

Now onto the pictures!

[I really love squirrels]

[this was just creepy. reminded me more of a troll than an elf]

[Santa must be on call. But why is he bathing with clothes on?]

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cocktail Hour // Wonder Boys + Marilyn Monroe Cocktail

Wonder Boys is another one of those movies that I like to watch during the winter time; obviously because it takes place during the winter. If you haven't seen it, here's a brief synopsis courtesy of wikipedia:

The film was based on the novel of the same title by Michael ChabonMichael Douglas stars as professor Grady Tripp, a novelist who teaches creative writing at an unnamed Pittsburgh university. He has been unable to finish his second novel, his young wife has left him, and he is having an affair with the Chancellor of the university (Frances McDormand), who is the wife of the chairman of his department. Grady's editor (Robert Downey, Jr.) is in town to see his new book and becomes interested in a book that one of Grady's students (Tobey Maguire) has just completed.

A big part of the story includes a stolen jacket that Marilyn Monroe wore to her wedding to Joe Di Maggio. Tobey Maguire's character, James is obsessed with old Hollywood, particularly suicides. When Grady shows him the jacket he becomes emotional, thinking about how lonely Marilyn must have felt and steals the jacket. Through a series of events it ends up on the [small] shoulders of Oola (played by Jane Adams).

It's a sweet film that could have easily stumbled into pretentious land since it is filled with people in the literary and educational world or a screwball mess that could use a transvestite or dead dogs in trunks for cheap laughs, but it holds back and uses these to get to know our characters [we immediately understand Crabtree's (Downey) fluid sexuality] and to set the story in motion. Sure, these uncommon things might not happen to just anyone over a wintery weekend, but this movie makes it believable. 

I figured it'd be a fun idea to pair a Marilyn Monroe inspired cocktail with this film and lo and behold, someone over at Fine Dining Lovers thought of one. The champagne and slight pink hue definitely not only channel Marilyn, but the film as well. Though it tackles extramarital affairs, suicide and sexuality, there's a lightness to the film, both the drink and the film don't take themselves so seriously. Maybe I've had a few too many Marilyn's cause that sounds a bit too philosophical for cocktails and movies. So here it is!

I prefer a dryer champagne/sparkling wine so I went with a brut the first time, but mixed with the apple brandy (at least that's what the liquor store told me it was. I've never bought apple brandy and the label wasn't in English. I could have googled, but it was delicious, so I wasn't complaining) it was so dry it was almost bitter. I decided to go a bit sweet during the second round of testing so I went with a brut Prosecco, it was a good in between.
apple brandy // +sparkling wine // +grenadine // +maraschino cherries

Went with a little snack plate of cashews, figs, bread, camembert and some apricot jam


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Obligatory Gift Guide: Film Edition

Hannukah is over, it's probably too late to order things for Christmas, but if you're like me, you claim you ordered it forever ago. "There must have been some mix up, but your gift is on the way!"

Here are some ideas for the movie lovers in your life, broken down by a few genres:

1. The Maltese Falcon Tee, $28.00, Out of Print
2. Banned Books Matchbook Set, $8.00, Out of Print
3. The Book was Better Tee, $15.99+, Etsy
4. Scout and Boo Necklace, (available in Gold), $24.00, Out of Print
5. Banned Books Socks, $10.00, Uncommon Goods
6. Jane Austen Air Freshner, $3.99, Perpetual Kid

1. Goonies T-Shirt, $22.50+, Etsy
2. Gaming Cartridge Flasks, $14.99, Think Geek
3. Flux Capacitor USB Car Charger, $24.99, Think Geek
4. The Brave Little Toaster Print, $18.00, Etsy
5. Lock, Shock, & Barrel Masks - Nightmare Before Christmas, $40-$105.00, Etsy
6. Home Alone - Keep the Change You Filthy Animal Door Mat, $24.00, Etsy

1. Star Wars R2-D2 Bento Lunch Box, $19.99, Think Geek
2. Star Trek Drink Kooler, Spock or Kirk, $9.99, Perpetual Kid
3. Star Wars Limited Edition Ice Cream 4-Pack, $36.00, Ample Hills
6. Alien ring, $13.90, Etsy

1. Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Black Maria, $61.10, Amazon
2. Jaws Stainless Steel Bottle Opener, $26.51, Amazon
3. It Follows (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) on vinyl, $22.70, Amazon
4. Zombie Box : In Case of Zombies Break Glass, $99.99, Etsy
5. Rosemary's Baby Tannis Root Necklace, $34.75, Etsy
6. Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Krueger Shot Glass, $4.99, Amazon

I must conclude that an overall great gift for a movie lover is a membership to Movie Pass. It's an app/card that you can use to see one movie in the theatres per 24 hours. Not all theatres participate, but there is still a large number that do. They have a few gifting options, so check it out!